Published: April 23, 2020

Matthew BentleyPhD candidate Matthew Bentley was recently recognized as the top student presenter at the Emerging Contaminants Summit 2020. 

In addition, Bentley was awarded an honorable mention for the Figueroa Family Fellowship, which recognizes students who demonstrate a commitment to the achievement of a diverse student body.

“It is an honor to receive these awards recognizing my contribution to a diverse engineering student body, my service in low-and middle-income countries, and my research focused on low-cost solutions to global chemical contamination of water sources,” Bentley said. “It has been a joy to involve students from diverse backgrounds in my research, which is having a direct impact improving public health in Southeast Asia, and I hope that more individuals from underrepresented populations will consider a career in engineering to make our world a better place.”

Bentley is a fifth-year PhD student in environmental engineering working with Professor R. Scott Summers, with an intended graduation date of August 2020. He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Union University in 2015 and his master’s in engineering for developing communities from CU Boulder in 2018. He also earned a graduate certificate in engineering for developing communities.

Bentley’s dissertation is titled “Enhancing biochar sorption of organic micropollutants: Understanding the impacts of low-cost improvement methods in various water treatment scenarios.”

“My research at CU focuses on low-cost methods for improving biochar to remove chemical contaminants from water,” he said. “I have developed a novel ‘ash pretreatment’ method relevant for resource-limited communities due to their low-cost, decentralized nature, and use of locally available materials.”